Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here's a simple view of where it fits in.
In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P's
The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are "doing your marketing". It's your communications or your actual marketing activities.
But first, let's get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.
"The PURPOSE of marketing or it's biggest task is to
persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you
can present your offer. Done well they come waving their
credit card and ready to buy so there's no need for hard sell. "
Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.
You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to "present your offer".
With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as
o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogs, newsletters
o Phone, mail, fax
Radio & TV,
o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts
o Teleseminars & webinars
o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones
o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking
Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don't have to use all of these but they are available to you.
In any event you'll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.
JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.
So where does advertising fit into this?
Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it's the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or "present your offer". This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the "sales pitch" isn't obvious.
But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL .
So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.
Small businesses can't afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn't designed to sell, NOW.
What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.
The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.
Whether you're building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to "sell" it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.
In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.